Welcome to the 138th Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair. For the past 25 years, Joe Hartle has served as the president of this wonderful one-of-a-kind event. He will certainly be missed this year. But, Joe would want us to put smiles on our faces and carry on the great Grange Fair traditions as well as plan for the future.
For the past 18 years, I have been privileged to serve on the committee with Joe.
He has been a great mentor and friend to me as he led by his positive example and great work ethic. I will never forget Joes friendly smile and outstretched hand as he welcomed old friends as well as first-time attendees to our fair. As Joes successor, I know that I have big shoes to fill but I am willing to accept the challenge.
This years Grange Fair runs from Aug. 23 to 30 with something for fairgoers of every age ... games, rides, foods of all types, livestock exhibits and shows, commercial displays, art and hobby show entries, truck and tractor pulls, needlecraft, flower and vegetable exhibits, free grandstand entertainment and much, much more. On behalf of the Grange Fair committee, I would like to extend a hearty welcome to each of you to come to our unique county fair.
Our opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. Come to the grandstand and help us kick off the 2012 fair. This years opening will be a tribute to Joe Hartle. At 7 p.m. that same evening, the Grange Fair Queen Competition will be held at the Southside Stage. This year, nine young ladies are vying for the crown. The rest of the week is a whirlwind of events. Check our website at grangefair.net for daily schedules.
Our Grange Fair was established as a showplace for agriculture. Lets continue to celebrate the agricultural achievements of Centre County and educate our youth, the future of this great fair! When you visit this year, be thankful for faithful stewards, like Joe Hartle, who helped make the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair what it is today!
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who helps to make this fair an ongoing success ... the Grange Fair committee, general manager, superintendent of facilities, grounds crew, employees, 4-H members and leaders, FFA students and teachers, legislators, concessionaires, exhibitors, businesses and sponsors, as well as our tenters, campers, and all attendees.
Ben Haagen is president of Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair Association.